College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS)


Protein Hydrolysates from Marine Fisheries Species by Asst. Prof. Lhumen Tejano and Dr. Jose Peralta

The researchers of the project believe that sick people (or those with the impaired immune system) should have their body functions focus most of their energy in addressing and repairing what is wrong with the body. Given the opportunity, the human body could heal and repair itself. In line with this thought, the body should not spend so much energy in the process of digestion. This could be done by the provision of simple and easy-to-digest foods of complete nutrition in the form of peptides. Further, the literature suggests that peptides with molecular weights (peptide, di-peptides, or tri-peptides), also become bioactive compounds that assist and facilitate body functions and metabolisms. They become more functional and more readily absorbed in the human body, thus exhibiting diverse biological activities. With this thought in mind, these peptides can be incorporated in different food formulations and supplements for better therapy and survival of humans.

This project studies the use of dietary proteins as product ingredient that will make the proteins easily available and assimilable. This can be done in the form of hydrolysates which is composed of various peptides with different potential bioactivities. Enzymatic hydrolysis pf proteins can produce bioactive peptides with no or mild side effects as compared to existing synthetic drugs. These hydrolysates are produced from low value marine fisheries resources to make the final product affordable.

This project is made in collaboration with Pascual Pharma Corp, who has been an industry partner of UP Visayas since 2016. This is also to continue what has been done from the USAID STRIDE Project, entitled, Dietary proteins from endemic fish species’, which was working on digestion of fish proteins by bacterial enzymes, into fish hydrolysates.

The implementation of the project is good for 3 years. In year one, protein hydrolysates were produced from 10 selected marine resources. The powdered hydrolysates were then subjected to chemical and functional characterization. The project is currently on its 2nd year of implementation. This year, project is focused on the production of blended product using food grade reagents. On its 3rd year, product toxicity, allergy studies and market potential studies of the final blended product will be made. Thereafter, commercialization activities could follow suit. After year 3, the industry partner will take over the marketing potential studies, and eventually commercialized derived product/s.

In the Philippines, only a few studies on hydrolysates are being conducted. This is somehow hindered by the lack of facilities, pool of experts, and funding support by the government and other funding agencies. However, the country is rich in aquatic marine resources, which are yet to be explored in terms of their properties and characteristics for potential application in human nutrition and pharmaceuticals. Current status suggests that there are available food supplements and formulations already in the market. Some of these are from Nestle; which are the Peptamen and Nutrient Optimum. From Brands, we have Chicken Essence. These food supplements or food formulations are basically hydrolysates and peptides; rich in essential amino acids; with similar functional characteristics. This is the direction that the project is taking and hopefully be able to achieve.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *